They say life isn’t about the things that happen to you, but about the decisions you make. There’s a ton of coverage about the best decisions people have made, but not nearly enough conversation about the tough decisions.  We asked folks we admire to tell us about the most difficult decision they’ve ever had to make and have shared some of those responses below.

Shimira Cole | Faith-Based TV/Film Writer & Talk Show Host

The most difficult decision that I had to make is leaving behind my 10-year perception of success and carving a newer and healthier idea of what success looks like for me. So often we get caught up with adding the “Social Media Stars” version of success to our plate when in reality, the perfect angle pictures, the numerous friendships, and after-parties do not reflect reality or what we desire daily. Read more>>

Jeremy Whatley | Performer

I think the most difficult decision I have ever had to make was deciding to move to Los Angeles in 2009. Growing up in Fort Worth, Texas I told myself that I NEVER wanted to move away. I had always envisioned that I would go to a school like TCU for Fine Arts (Drumline) or maybe a school in Houston. At one point I had even looked at Christian colleges. It wasn’t until the summer of 2009 when I auditioned for American Idol and didn’t make it past the initial rounds that something had to change. I remember talking to a friend of mine at the time, Phillip, and we were both so serious about pursuing performing arts degrees. He is actually the one who introduced me to AMDA. One click led to another and next thing you know, it was time to audition in Dallas, TX. Read more>>

Maria Quintana | Director Of Photography

The most difficult decision I’ve ever had to make was step out to my comfort zone, that means when I decided to move to LA and push the reset button. When I decided to pursuit my dream I knew will not be easy to make it happen and will be challenge. Be latina and women in other place that is not your country is sometimes challenge and hard. For me came to LA was a big change, I made 360º turn. First because it was the first time I left home, and since the beginning I knew my ticket it was one way, with no return. At the beginning it was hard, I’ve always been a family person, for me my family is everything, and be not with them was really hard, I remember crying every night during the first two months in LA. Also, in that moment I was very shy and my english was not perfect. Read more>>

Melissa Staroszik | Creative Director & Choreographer

The most difficult decision I ever had to make was whether or not to pursue my career in the US or stay in Canada. It would have been very easy, however, unfulfilling for me to have stayed in my home country at the top of game and build an empire. I’m confident that in doing so I would not have been happy. Moving the The US from another country is not a smooth process. It requires years of experience and expertise in your field along with a myriad of other requirements (12 to be exact) some of which include; ten letters of recommendation, press articles, notable jobs with celebrities (must have photo and video evidence), proof of employment for up to 3 years (entertainers audition for every single job they get, so this one is hard to prove)… Read more>>

Tahmoores Alizadeh | Artist

Immigration was the hardest decision of my life. I was born and raised in Iran. As a Baha’i, I faced so many religious discriminations in my country which forced me to leave Iran. I had to leave my relatives, friends and years of memories. To be able to come to the USA, I had to leave in Turkey until my immigration process finished which took eight months. The USA was a different world. Everything here is different, especially culture. After five years of living here, I have gotten used to many things. Despite all the difficulties, I am satisfied and happy with my decision. It definitely had many positive effects on my life as well. I went to English classes and met new people from different cultures. It allowed me to focus more on creating artwork and had the opportunity to participate in a group art gallery. Read more>>